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Public Alert No. 009/2022 – Warning Against the Use of Aluminium Phosphide 560TB Pesticides

March 2, 2022,

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control is informing the general public of the risk involved in the use of Aluminium Phosphide 560TB Pesticides following the report of the death of three (3) children as announced by the Zimbabwean authorities. The death of the children was as a result them inhaling the pesticides that had been applied to maize for storage.

Aluminum phosphide (AlP) is a cheap, effective and commonly used pesticide. It is used as a rodenticides, insecticide and fumigant for stored cereal grains. It is used to kill small verminous mammals such as moles and rodents. Unfortunately, it is now one of the most common causes of poisoning among agricultural pesticides. It liberates lethal phosphine gas when it comes in contact either with atmospheric moisture or with hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

It comes in different brand names such as Justoxin, Force Toxin, Phostoxin, Celphos, Multiphos etc.

Possible Risk

Human toxicity occurs either due to the ingestion of AlP (commonest mode) after exposure and injury from phosphine inhalation (uncommon) or even after absorption through the skin (rare). The signs and symptoms are nonspecific, instantaneous and depend on the dose, route of entry and time lapse since exposure to poison. After inhalation exposure, patients commonly have airway irritation and breathlessness. Other features may include dizziness, easy fatigability, tightness in the chest, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, ataxia, numbness, paraesthesia, tremor, muscle weakness, diplopia and jaundice. In severe inhalation toxicity, the patient may develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), cardiac failure, cardiac arrhythmias, convulsion and coma, and late manifestation of hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity may also occur.

NAFDAC implores distributors, retailers, and consumers to exercise caution in the storage, ensure safe and proper handling of the chemical product.

Members of the public are advised to always read warning labels before purchase, carefully follow label instruction for proper handling, proper application and proper storage, as well as ensure use of protective measures when handling pesticides such as wearing impermeable gloves, long pants, and long-sleeve, nose mask and safety glasses.

NAFDAC encourages consumers to report adverse events related to the use of this product to the nearest NAFDAC office, NAFDAC PRASCOR (20543 TOLLS FREE from all networks) or via pharmacovigilance@nafdac.gov.ng or via the NAFDAC ADR e-Reporting platform available at www.nafdac.gov.ng

NAFDAC……..Customer-focused, Agency-minded!!!

Signed Management

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